2001-02 Kings' passing ability was 'unbelievable,' Steve Nash recalls

2001-02 Kings' passing ability was 'unbelievable,' Steve Nash recalls

Steve Nash had a very impressive 19-year NBA career before he bid adieu after the 2013-14 season.

During that time, he was able to face the 2002 Kings -- a squad that was tough to play. The team won eleven straight games toward the end of the season, finishing with a 61–21 record -- good for the best record in the league.

The Kings banked on a Read and React Offense with a phenomenal passing game by Chris Webber and Vlade Divac and great guards in Mike Bibby and Doug Christie. Nash spoke about their game on “All The Smoke” podcast.

“The passing of Vlade and C-Webb was unbelievable for two big guys," Nash told hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. "It allowed them to play the game in a way that was so rare and so difficult to defend. That ball just moved and guys would space the floor ... It was beautiful.” 

Webber and Divac would also play at the top of the key which made it easy for Bibby to use the two as screens to score.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

“Peja [Stojaković] obviously was maybe their best player at different times during that run,” Nash added. "And Christie was almost impossible to figure out." 


That year, the Dallas Mavericks would lose to the Kings 4-1 in the conference semifinals, but Nash said he had fun playing against the team and Sacramento was an incredible place to play.

“Building felt like it was falling down, but the energy in there was incredible.”

Game recognizes game.

[RELATED: Kings get love on ESPN's best NBA uniforms]

Nash’s illustrious career included eight All-Star selections, back-to-back MVP awards, garnering First Team honors three times and an induction into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

He’s now a player development consultant with the Warriors.

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Practice? Are we talking about practice?

The Sacramento Kings left behind their shutdown practice facility on Wednesday morning. They headed out on a non-stop flight to the Orlando bubble where they’ll spend the next five weeks at a minimum.

They’ll head straight to their assigned rooms in The Yacht Club resort on the Disney World campus where they’ll initially be quarantined before jumping onto the practice court.

On Wednesday morning, the NBA released the practice schedule for the first few days of the bubble. The Kings will have their first practice session Friday evening at the Coronado Fiesta from 2-5 p.m. PT.

That's the first time the Kings are allowed to meet as an entire group. They are cleared to practice, hit the weight training and begin team meetings. Individual workouts are also available during this time.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for Orlando]

Sacramento returns to the practice court on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. PT on Coronado 2. It’s a quick 11-day build-up before the team has its first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.

Barring a major setback, the Kings won’t have long before they are playing real games. They open their schedule on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs and they’ll play at least every other day until the conclusion of their eight-game schedule on August 13.

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.

The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.

In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”

According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.

Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.

“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”

Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.

[RELATED: Bazemore could envision staying for 'next couple of years']

“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.

Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.